Exercise Science & Research.

If you work in the exercise field and you do not spend at least one hour per day reading and studying, start now. Below I have provided a summary of a few research studies I have pulled from my collection.
To be a successful professional in the fitness industry long hours of studying and research are required. Basic knowledge of physiology, endocrinology, kinesiology, and anatomy are very important for the fitness professional. In the field experience, and observation are also necessary for developing a proper understanding of the field. Sadly, the majority of people working in the field have very little knowledge. I once spoke to the head personal trainer of a large gym franchise, and he filled me in on some shocking news (yeah right).

He told me he did not know much about training and nutrition, but he did know how to sale. This scenario is common in the exercise industry. (Refer to my article Avoiding Fitness Phonie's for more info on spotting quacks.) If you work in the exercise field and you do not spend at least one hour per day reading and studying, start now. Below I have provided a summary of a few research studies I have pulled from my collection.

Training Endurance & Strength

The following information is a brief summary of various research studies provided by Dr. Fred Hatfield.

  1. There is a direct correlation between power output and fast-twitch muscle fiber (Bosco et.al,1983; Hakkinen et. al,1984).
  2. Endurance training decreases the inherent capabilities of the neuromuscular system to produce maximum force (Dudley & Fleck 1987).
  3. Vertical jumping ability is negatively affected by endurance training (Bosco et al. 1983; Ono et .al 1976).
  4. Strength training with weights induces little or no increase in aerobic capacity, but increases anaerobic capacity (Hickson et al. 1980).
  5. Strength training may help performance in endurance events where occasional bouts of explosion are required (Dudley & Fleck 1987).
  6. Excessive endurance training interferes with optimal strength, power and size development in muscle (Hickson 1980 : Dudley & Djamil 1985).

Skill Levels Key Factor For Jiu-Jitsu

This study evaluated twenty-three jiu-jitsu practitioners on a variety of fitness traits. The study was conducted to determine if there was a correlation between fitness qualities and jiu-jitsu performance. The results showed that skill levels, not fitness qualities, determined the best performers. (Todd, Harrison & Chisnall 1999).

Lumbar Spine Strength

This study was done to determine the upper range of bone mineral density and critical compression force in the lumbar spine. Studies performed on cadavers calculated a hypothetical critical compression force at which the lumbar spine would collapse. The subject used in the study was the current record holder in the squat (469 kg). The subject had dual energy x-ray and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) performed on the lumbar spine.

Dual energy x-ray revealed the highest bone density ever recorded. MRI revealed normal alignment and no evidence of herniation or compressive disc diseases. The estimated compressive force generated on the spine during the squat of 469 kg doubles previously estimated compression force (Dickerman, Pertusi, Smith 2000).

High Carb vs. High Protein

A study presented at the North American Association for The Study of Obesity Conference compared a high carbohydrate diet to the Atkins plan.

In 12 weeks, subjects on the Atkins diet lost more weight, lowered triglycerides by 19% and raised HDL cholesterol by 9.8%. Total cholesterol increased 4.9% and LDL by 8.8%. Those on the high carbohydrate diet lowered triglycerides by 2.3%, HDL 1.8%, and LDL 14.6%. Total cholesterol decreased by 9.7%.

Sports Do Not Effect Growth Rates

It was found that high levels of physical activity, sport participation and sports training had no effect on the rate of growth in stature in boys and girls. Among girls, training had no effect on the timing of menarche onset. Performance of sports and physical activity, with proper supervision, does not effect growth rates. (Malina, R.M. 1994)

Anaerobic Training vs. Aerobic Training

This analysis compared exhaustive aerobic training to exhaustive anaerobic training on VO2 max and Wingate Power test scales. Subjects (15) exercised three times per week for four weeks. The duration of the training sessions were equal.

The anaerobic training group increased time to fatigue at VO2 max while the aerobic training group showed no significant change. The anaerobic group also improved considerably more than the aerobic group in 30 s power output, peak power and total work output in the Wingate test.

This analysis confirms that high intensity anaerobic training produces quicker physiological adaptations than continuous aerobic training. (Villani, Fern hall & Miller 1999)


Dickerman RD, Pertusi R, Smith GH. The upper range of lumbar spine bone mineral density, an examination of the current world record holder in the squat lift. Int J Sports Med 2000 Oct; 21 (7) 469-470
Malina, R.M. (1994) Physical activity and training, Effects on stature and the adolescent growth spurt. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise 26.759-766
Todd, M.K., Harrison, M.L.Χsnall , P.J.(1999). Sport Specific fitness of Jiu-Jitsu Martial artists. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 31(5), supplement abstract 748.
Villani, A.J., Fernhall, B& Miller, W.C.(1999). Effects of aerobic and anaerobic training to exhaustion on Vo2max and exercise performance. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 31(5),supplement abstract 1093.

Copyright 2002 Jamie Hale